Skip to main content

Person-environment fit psychology

Matching approaches to career development have a long history in our field. The work of John Holland has been selected as it provides a detailed example of the person-environment fit approach.
Holland's theory of vocational personalities and work environments (Powerpoint Presentation)


Further reading

  • See Schein's (1978) work (and subsequent refinements) on career anchors for an alternative matching approach. He identifies 8 types of career anchor: Technical/functional competence; General managerial competence; Autonomy/independence; Security/stability; Entrepreneurial creativity; Sense of service/dedication to a cause; Pure challenge; and Lifestyle.
  • There is also a large number of studies that propose alternative 'career types'. Although not strictly matching career development theories, they are nonetheless interesting for a contrast to Holland. For an example, see Tominson's (2007) fourfold typology of higher education students and their orientations to the labour market: Rebels, Retreatists, Ritualists and Careerists.